Willie Glasper approved for VCVB spot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A longtime organizer of events for veterans and for former residents to return to Vicksburg has been appointed to the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Willie Glasper was the unanimous choice of Warren County supervisors after support for his appointment was requested by District 2 Supervisor William Banks — thus filling a spot on the tourism promotion board that has been vacant since 2006.

A career employee with the U.S. Postal Service, Glasper, 57, is the postmaster for Port Gibson. For the past 28 years, he has been president of the Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club, a multipurpose community group. A key VHBC activity has been organizing mass reunions of former Vicksburg residents, usually each July.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Banks said his appointment came after Glasper expressed interest in serving on the board, for which nine of 11 slots are now filled.

Glasper has also worked with others organizing Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances and parades. A key emphasis has been providing scholarships for youths and recognizing top local law enforcement officers and firefighters.

“We’ll see what we can do to enhance the city from its tourism perspective and attract more tourists to what we have in place,” Glasper said when reached Monday.

Totals reported to the VCVB bureau show Vicksburg National Military Park and the Old Court House Museum remained the top attractions for tourists in 2008, with 555,109 and 17,604 visitors, respectively.

Revenue estimates for 2009 anticipate the VCVB will have about $1.2 million to spend. The amount for advertising has increased, projected at about $565,000 for this year. Notable among recent ad buys was a $15,000 purchase of four television spots promoting the city during the 2009 Miss Mississippi pageant July 15-18 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

The VCVB budget is funded by a 1 percent tax on rooms rented at area hotels and motels, as well as food and beverages sold at local restaurants and bars. Five board members are appointed by the City of Vicksburg and five by supervisors, with one joint appointment. Bill Seratt serves as executive director.

One open seat is the joint appointment, for which several names have been advanced since former board chairman Nelda Sampey resigned in November. Mentioned have been developer Shirley Waring, preservationist Betty Bullard, Mississippi River Tours co-owner Ann Jones, Southern Cultural Heritage Center executive director Annette Kirklin and Aquila Group marketing executive Kristi Pantin.

The term on the vacant seat ends in November 2010.

Another vacancy is the city-appointed seat held by Renay Jenkins, who resigned this month. Jenkins said she is moving to Baton Rouge. City officials have not voiced preferences for successors in either vacancy.

Supervisors informally allot their appointments to one each among themselves, but a board majority is required to confirm a nominee. Before tapping Glasper, Banks had declined to name a nominee because his initial selection was not confirmed by his fellow supervisors.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com.